Img Credit: Apurba Nag on UnsplashSikkim

Sikkim Travel Information

Nestled in the foothills of the eastern Himalayan region, Sikkim is one of the prominent destinations among travel enthusiasts due to its mesmerizing view, pleasant climatic conditions, peaceful environment, rich wildlife, variety of vegetation, warm hospitality, and many more. Gangtok is the capital city of Sikkim and has the largest population in the state. Located at an elevation range from 280 meters to 8,586 meters the state consists of more than 80 glaciers and around 227 lakes among which Tsomgo Lake and Gurudongmar Lake are most common among tourists. Sikkim also exhibits a wide range of wildlife with more than 5,000 species of flowing plant and inhabits rare and endangered animal species including Red Panda, Tibetan wolf, Snow leopard, yak, and many more.

Sikkim is the least populated state of the country with an estimated population of around 7 Lakhs. However, the state inhabits people of diverse communities who together live happily leading towards the betterment of the society and rich culture. Lepcha, Bhutia, and Nepalese are the dominant part of the community and are the oldest inhabitants of the state from the 14th century. Hinduism is the most followed religion of the state followed by Buddhism and Christianity. The people of Sikkim are friendly and calm in nature and offer warm hospitality services to their guests.

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Featured Sikkim Tour Packages

Sightseeing Places in Sikkim

How to reach Sikkim?

Air : Sikkim can be reached by taking a flight to the Pakyong Airport located in Pakyong at a distance of 35 km from the city of Gangtok.

Train : There is no major station in Sikkim for the railway, however, the nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri Station (NJP) located in Siliguri at a distance of 145 km from the city of Gangtok.

Road : Sikkim can be reached by road through NH 10 which allows connecting Siliguri to Gangtok witnessing the beauty of the mountains and Teesta River along the journey.

Img Credit: Pralay Pal on pixabay.comSikkim

People and Community of Sikkim

Art and Culture

Sikkim is rich in culture and festivities that resemble its wider range of community and religious beliefs. The state is famous for its unique dance forms, festivals, languages, arts, and many more which resemble the traditional culture of Sikkim. The people of Sikkim love dance and music which is performed on the eve of festivals and for celebrations. The architecture and art forms of Sikkim are popular among tourists and are similar to that of Tibetan art forms and architecture. Losar, Pang Lhabsol, Tihar, and Saga Dawa are some of the common festivals that are hugely celebrated in Sikkim.

Rich and unique Cuisine

The food and cuisine of Sikkim are a major part of the state culture due to its unique range of cuisines and mouthwatering dishes that attract tourists and food lovers from all over the world. The food and cuisine of the Sikkim are mainly comprised of rice, fermented beans, cottage cheese, Soups, pickles, and many more. Momo and Thukpa are the most commonly consumed dishes in Sikkim that are available for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The people of Sikkim prefer eating boiled foods with less use of spices accompanied by local drinks, beer, and rum.

Traditions & Festivals

Explore the captivating cultural tapestry of Sikkim, where vibrant traditions and festivals beautifully depict the state's rich heritage.

Losar : Tibetan New Year, Losar, is celebrated with colorful processions, dances, and decorations in Sikkim.

Saga Dawa : Celebrate Saga Dawa, a significant Buddhist festival honoring the birth, enlightenment, and death of Lord Buddha. Monasteries are visited by pilgrims, and prayer flags decorate the landscape during this auspicious occasion.

Phang Lhabsol : Experience the Phang Lhabsol festival, a blend of religion and culture, celebrating the guardian deity Kanchenjunga with masked dances, prayers, and vibrant ceremonies.

Dasain (Dashain) : Dasain is a Hindu festival celebrating the victory of good over evil. Families gather for feasts, rituals, and blessings, promoting unity and joy.

Tihar (Deepawali) : Tihar is a Hindu festival of lights that honors animals, adding a compassionate touch to the celebrations.

Maghe Sankranti : Maghe Sankranti celebrates longer days and the end of winter with traditional foods and activities.

Tendong Lho Rum Faat : Tendong Lho Rum Faat is a significant festival celebrated by the Lepcha people in Sikkim to mark the occasion when their ancestors were saved by the holy Tendong Hill from a great deluge. It is celebrated with great fanfare, with Namchi being the prime venue in South Sikkim.

Img Credit: Arani Mukherjee on PexelsSikkim

General Travel Information of Sikkim

Immerse yourself in the tranquil charm of Sikkim, a captivating state in northern India. Known for its breathtaking landscapes, pleasant climate, and rich cultural traditions, Sikkim offers warm hospitality to travellers. In 1975, India welcomed Sikkim as the 22nd state of the nation. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, Sikkim shares borders with Nepal, Bhutan, and China, adding an international dimension to its allure. Explore the beauty of nature and cultural heritage in this enchanting land.

Here's your essential travel info for an enriching experience:

1. Permits: Make sure that you obtain all the required permits before entering any restricted areas. Foreigners may need a Protected Area Permit (PAP) or a Restricted Area Permit (RAP).

2. Weather: Sikkim has diverse climates due to varying altitudes. Summers (April to June) offer pleasant weather, ideal for exploring. Winters (October to February) can be chilly, especially at higher elevations.

3. Attractions: Explore the enchanting Gurudongmar Lake, Pelling's serene landscapes, and the vibrant capital, Gangtok. Don't miss the awe-inspiring monasteries like Rumtek and Tashiding.

4. Transportation: The nearest airport is Bagdogra (IXB) in West Bengal. Well-connected by road, with shared taxis and private cabs available. The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway offers a scenic train journey.

5. Local Cuisine: Indulge in Sikkimese delicacies like Phagshapa, Thukpa, and Momos. Try the local beverage, Tongba, a fermented millet drink.

6. Festivals: Check festival calendars for events like Losar, Saga Dawa, and Phang Lhabsol. Embrace the local culture through vibrant celebrations.

7. Health Precautions: Acclimatize gradually to avoid altitude sickness. Carry essential medications and stay hydrated.

Formalities & Visa

To enter the beautiful land of Sikkim, foreigners need to obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP). Since some parts of Sikkim are located near the China border, they are protected and can only be accessed by foreigners with a Restricted-Area Permit (RAP). These areas include Nathula Pass, Lachen, and Lachung Valley. However, Indian citizens can visit them with a regular permit from the police. Additionally, foreigners are required to pay Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) charges for their stay in Sikkim.

Geography & Climate

"Sikkim experiences a diverse climate due to its varying altitudes. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, the state enjoys a subtropical climate with an average annual temperature of 18 degrees Celsius. Winters can see temperatures drop to as low as -7 degrees Celsius, while summers are mild. The best time to visit Sikkim is during the summer months where visitors can indulge in the breathtaking vistas.